Wearing many hats, a Kerala conman’s brazen antique scam is keeping the State hooked
Is ‘God’s Own Country’ becoming ‘Devil’s Own Paradise’? A school dropout posing as an artifacts collector has taken the State for a ride with his glib tongue. Claiming to be a cosmetologist and proud owner of “the Staff of Moses”, the “oil lantern carved out by Prophet Mohammed” and the silver coins collected by Judas for betraying Jesus Christ, this fraudster par excellence bowled over Kerala politicians, Ministers, bureaucrats and even top IPS officers. He tricked a business group of Rs 10 crore by convincing them that the Sultan of Brunei has sent him Rs 2,60,000 crore which has been put on hold by the Union Finance Ministry with the demand that he pay a fine of Rs 20 crore on the remittances. Monson Mavunkal, the trickster, had a fleet of imported high-end cars parked in the courtyard of his rented bungalow. The billboard on the giant gates told the world that he was the president of Global Malayali Federation, vice-president of International Human Rights Federation, patron of Kerala Expatriates Association and office bearer of hitherto unheard organisations with global taglines. He was also a special guest to the Cyber Hacking Conference held under the auspices of Kerala Police!
Though he claims to have travelled to more than 100 countries, Monson does not have a passport. Photographs of Loknath Behera, a former Kerala Police chief, and Manoj Abraham, a decorated additional DGP, sharing Tipu Sultan’s royal chair which is owned by Monson have gone viral. The sculptor who perfected the chair confessed to the Crime Branch that he had made it at Monson’s instance. The conman even had a wooden pot from which “Lord Krishna in his manifestation as a child used to steal butter”! The interesting thing is that all Malayalis were carried away by his claims. A former woman associate of his spilled the beans on Monson when he cheated her. Kerala, which was discussing “gold smuggling queen” Swapna Suresh around this time last year, is now agog with Monson’s audacious escapades. And all this is happening when trade union workers in the State hold organisations like Isro to ransom for unloading charges. The day is not far when Malayalis would replace in anecdotes featuring members of one particular community who evoked laughter through their imprudent acts.
(Courtesy: The Pioneer)